this would be the one to have. I own a garden shop and refer to this book a gazillion times a day. The index is great with lots of 'common names' for plants while the book is organized alphabetically by latin names. The first pages are guides to pruning, pest identification, disease identification, USDA zone maps etc. The pictures are top notch, and ALL the info you might need is included in each listing. If I have one complaint, it would be that the pictures are almost all closeups of flowers or leaves, and there are few pictures of the overall plant for reference in the landscape. I own two copies of this book, and will be paying for another one for my daughter's landscape business rather than giving over one of my copies.
the book is a great resource for gardeners and growers, and inculdes good info on a ton of horticultural varieties. i like the way it includes heat tolerance info as well as frost tolerance (heat zones and climatic zones). the info is a little sparse for some taxa though. for instance the commonly cultivated genus Encyclia is apparently missing, as are some more obscure genera and species that I have found in other books. still, this is a very worthwhile purchase and an excellent reference book for any indoor or outdoor gardener.
This book is very informative and lists MANY plant cultivars, cultivation and propagation techniques, and also lists pests and diseases. It contains many photos of cultivars, plus a visual glossary on plant structures. The index lists both botanical and common names. The first 54 pages list different plant groups and information about each, the life cycle of a plant, etc. I was able to find this book on Overstock for half the price of other sites. It's a necessity for beginners and experts and very easy to use.